Friday, March 9, 2012

Joseph Kony

Joseph Rao Kony (born c. 1961) is a Ugandan guerrilla group leader, head of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a group engaged in a violent campaign to establish theocratic government based on the Ten Commandments throughout Uganda. The LRA is a militant group with a syncretic Christian extreme religious ideology. They are known for the extreme atrocities they commit against civilians, including murder, mutilations, rape, and in some accounts even cannibalism.

Directed by Kony, the LRA has earned a reputation for its actions against the people of several countries, including northern Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and Sudan. It has abducted and forced an estimated 66,000 children to fight for them, and has forced the internal displacement of over 2 million people since its rebellion began in 1986. In 2005 Kony was indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, but has evaded capture.

Early Life
Kony was born c. 1961 in Odek, a village east of Gulu in northern Uganda. A member of the Acholi people, The son of farmers, he enjoyed a good relationship with his siblings, but was quick to retaliate in a dispute, and when confronted he would often resort to physical violence. His father was a lay catechist of the Catholic Church and his mother was an Anglican. Kony was an altar boy for several years, but he stopped attending church around the age of 15. As a teenager Kony apprenticed as the village witch doctor under his older brother, Jamie Brow, and when his older brother died, Kony took over the position. He did not graduate from high school. Kony first came to prominence in January 1986 as the leader of one of the many premillennialist groups that sprang up in Acholiland in the wake of the wildly popular Holy Spirit Movement of Alice Auma (also known as Lakwena), to whom Kony is thought to be related. Their relative loss of influence after the overthrow of Acholi President Tito Okello by Yoweri Museveni and his National Resistance Army (NRA) during the Ugandan Bush War (1981–1986) spurred resentment among the Acholi, which boosted Joseph Kony's popularity.

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